$4-m support for studentsFriday, September 24, 2021
BY VENESHA MORRIS
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Courtnie Thompson, a third-year medical student of The University of the West Indies, is one step closer to achieving her dream of becoming a paediatrician.
She is one of 37 students of secondary and tertiary institutions who will benefit from a total of $4 million in assistance provided through Member of Parliament for St James West Central Marlene Malahoo Forte's Education Support Programme.
After graduating high school with 12 CSEC subjects, Thompson knew her dream of going to medical school was going to be hard to reach because of the hefty tuition fees. She is from a humble background and only one of her parents is working. “My family is not able to finance my education; the school fees alone are US$28,000 per year,” she explained.
She asked her MP for help and her request was granted.
“I'm eternally grateful to [MP] Malahoo Forte for her assistance… It would have been impossible to have reached here without her [help],” said Thompson. She added that this opportunity means a lot to her as she really wants to contribute to society in a significant way. “I have a genuine love for children and I want to contribute to improving and treating their health,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
Thompson, Mondise Haylette and Rashana Brown were among the 32 college students who were present to receive their grants on Thursday. Haylette, an English language major at Sam Sharpe Teachers' College, said she was elated to be among the beneficiaries and urged other youngsters to focus on getting an education. “I am encouraging young people to… make use of the assistance provided by different agencies,” she said. Five high schools students also benefitted from the programme.
Speaking during the ceremony, Malahoo Forte encouraged recipients to make the most of the opportunity. “I am happy to be providing this support to your educational endeavours. I want now for you, upon completion, to give back to your families, your communities and to our country Jamaica,” she urged.